Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Grim Reaper Endorses UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES!

The Grim Reaper sez, "YOU BETTER PRE-ORDER ROBERT GUFFEY'S NOVEL UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES... OR ELSE!!!"

This ominous announcement from The Other Side marks the beginning of an important countdown... the countdown to the November 21st publication of Robert Guffey's first novel, UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES.  What are high-ranking initiates of The Illuminati, as opposed to immortal supernatural entities, saying about this important debut?  See below to answer that burning question....

“Taps into the cultural zeitgeist . . . A nihilistic satire that takes the idea that death is easy and comedy is hard to a whole new level.”—Kirkus Reviews 

“Guffey’s sardonic, cleverly written comedic debut relies heavily on absurd synchronicity, bold characterization, and heavy irony to make its points about the apocalyptic nature of American humorlessness.”—Publishers Weekly 

“A playful amalgam of Andy Kaufman and Philip K. Dick by way of Shaun of the Dead.” —Damien Lincoln Ober, author of Doctor Benjamin Franklin's Dream America 

“This satirical tale explores the role of comedy in maintaining a healthy democracy. . . . A clever concept.”—Kirkus Reviews

What's UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES all about, you ask?  According to The Grim Reaper, who composed the back cover copy for this new novel with a crow quill pen dipped in pig's blood, in the incandescent pages of this darkly humorous novel you will meet...


...a young stand-up comedian named Elliot Greeley who must adapt to an apocalyptic virus affecting people’s sense of humor.
What happens when all humor is wiped off the face of the Earth?
Around the world, an unusual viral plague is striking the population. The virus attacks only one particular section of the brain. It isn’t fatal, but it results in the victim’s sense of humor being obliterated. No one is immune.
Elliot, a young stand-up comedian starving his way through alternative comedy clubs in Los Angeles, isn’t even certain the virus is real at first. But as the pandemic begins to eat away at the very heart of civilization itself, the virus affects Elliot and his close knit group of comedian friends in increasingly personal ways.
What would you consider the end of the world?
Until the Last Dog Dies is a sharp, cutting satire, both a clever twist on apocalyptic fiction and a poignant look at the things that make us human.
To pre-order your copy of UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES this instant, thus preventing the shadow of an increasingly humorless Grim Reaper from darkening your doorstep, feel free to click HERE now!  JUST DO IT!!!

H.P. Lovecraft's "The Whisperer in Darkness"

Listen to one of H.P. Lovecraft's best stories, "The Whisperer in Darkness," read by Dudley Knight, host of KPKV's The Graveyard Shift:


Ray Bradbury at Club 33

Exactly ten years ago, on All Hallows' Eve, Ray Bradbury made an appearance at Disneyland's ultra-exclusive Club 33 to celebrate the legacy of his 1972 novel, THE HALLOWEEN TREE.  A video of that celebration can be seen below....


Silver Shamrock (Redux)


Monday, October 30, 2017

Old Time Radio Flashback: SUSPENSE ("The Hitchhiker")

On September 2nd, 1942, SUSPENSE aired Louise Fletcher's story entitled "The Hitchhiker" starring Orson Welles as the beleaguered protagonist.  Twenty years later, Rod Serling adapted Fletcher's story as one of the most well-remembered and haunting episodes of THE TWILIGHT ZONE.  The entire episode of SUSPENSE can be heard below....

Old Time Radio Flashback: SUSPENSE ("Three Skeleton Key")

Sit back and relax while listening to the dulcet tones of Vincent Price in this thrilling adaptation of George Toudouze's 1937 short story entitled "Three Skeleton Key."  This episode of SUSPENSE first aired on November 11th, 1956.  You can hear the entire episode below....



Old Time Radio Flashback: CRIME DOES NOT PAY ("Gasoline Cocktail")

On February 17th, 1951, CRIME DOES NOT PAY (directed by Ira Marion) aired John Gart's story entitled "Gasoline Cocktail" starring Bela Lugosi as arsonist Nick Segadin.  The entire episode can be heard below....



The Festival of the New Wine

As always at this time of the year, we at Cryptoscatology Headquarters have been enthusiastically celebrating The Festival of the New Wine and the ongoing Halloween season.  Here's a brief clip from the raucous soiree that occurred just the other night.  Thank the Great Architect of the Universe that Rudi the Villager just so happened to be taping the saturnalian festivities with his cell phone....

Old Time Radio Flashback: Ray Bradbury on SUSPENSE

Some of the most memorable episodes of SUSPENSE were those adapted from the works of Ray Bradbury.  Here are three of those episodes:

THE WHOLE TOWN IS SLEEPING
(June 14, 1955)


ZERO HOUR
(April 5, 1955)


THE SCREAMING WOMAN 
(November 25, 1948)

 

Old Time Radio Flashback: SUSPENSE ("The Doctor Prescribed Death")

On February 2nd, 1943, SUSPENSE (directed by Ted Bliss and produced by William Spier) aired J. Donald Wilson's story entitled "The Doctor Prescribed Death" starring Bela Lugosi as Dr. Antonio Bassille.  The entire episode can be heard below....

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Old Time Radio Flashback: SUSPENSE ("The Dunwich Horror")

On November 1st, 1945, William Spier adapted and directed H.P. Lovecraft's classic story "The Dunwich Horror" (originally published in the pages of Weird Tales in April of 1929) for an episode of SUSPENSE starring Ronald Coleman as Dr. Henry Armitage.  As far as I know, this is the very first adaptation of Lovecraft's fiction into another medium....  


 

Old Time Radio Flashback: THE MERCURY THEATRE ON THE AIR ("Dracula")

The premier episode of Orson Welles' THE MERCURY THEATRE ON THE AIR (a radio series that ran from July of 1938 to December of that same year, then transformed into THE CAMPBELL PLAYHOUSE, which continued under Welles' direction from December of 1938 to March of 1940) stars Welles in his own adaptation of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, DRACULA.  Welles portrays the dual roles of protagonist John Steward as well as Count Dracula himself.  This episode of MERCURY THEATRE originally aired on July 11, 1938.


Old Time Radio Flashback: SUSPENSE ("Donovan's Brain")

In this special two-part episode of SUSPENSE (one of the most critically acclaimed golden age radio programs, which ran from June of 1942 to September of 1962), Orson Welles portrays Dr. Patrick Cory in an adaptation of Curt Siodmak's bestselling science fiction novel, DONOVAN'S BRAIN (1942).  These two episodes originally aired on May 18th and May 25th, 1944. 


DONOVAN'S BRAIN Part 1:


DONOVAN'S BRAIN Part 2:

Old Time Radio Flashback: THE SHADOW ("The Gibbering Things")

One of my favorite episodes of THE SHADOW, perhaps the most popular show produced during the golden age of radio (THE SHADOW aired continuously from September of 1937 to December of 1954), has always been "The Gibbering Things" written by Alonzo Deen Cole and starring Bret Morrison as Lamont Cranston (AKA The Shadow) and Marjorie Anderson as Cranston's "faithful companion," Margot Lane.  This episode originally aired on September 26th, 1943.  You can listen to the entire episode by clicking HERE.

Old Time Radio Flashback: LIGHTS OUT ("Sub-Basement")

One of my favorite episodes of Wyllis Cooper's LIGHTS OUT (which debuted in 1934 and continued to air in various incarnations throughout the 1940s) is "Sub-Basement" written by Arch Oboler.  This episode originally aired on August 24th, 1943.  You can listen to the entire episode below....


"IT... IS... LATER... THAN... YOU... THINK!"

Old Time Radio Flashback: QUIET, PLEASE ("The Thing on the Fourble Board")

One of the most legendary episodes of QUIET, PLEASE--indeed, one of the finest episodes of any show produced during the entire golden age of radio--is "The Thing on the Fourble Board" written and directed by Wyllis Cooper.  This episode originally aired on August 9th, 1948.  (You Richard Shaver fans out there will get a kick out of this one.)  You can listen to "The Thing on the Fourble Board" by clicking HERE.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Old Time Radio Flashback: QUIET, PLEASE ("My Son, John")

I've always felt that the old time radio shows that still hold up in the 21st century--indeed, many of them are often far superior to the most expensive CGI tentpole summer movies being cranked out today--are those that dealt primarily with the genres of suspense and supernatural horror.  One of the greatest old time radio shows was QUIET, PLEASE (which ran from 1947 to 1949), and one of my favorite episodes is "My Son, John" written and directed by the show's creator, Wyllis Cooper... appropriate listening fare for this Halloween season.  You can listen to the entire episode by clicking HERE.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Lockheed Martin and the Role of Private Military Corporations in the 21st Century

What follows is a brief excerpt from William D. Hartung's 1-11-11 Huffington Post article entitled "Is Lockheed Martin Shadowing You?:  How a Giant Weapons Maker Became the New Big Brother":

"Have you noticed that Lockheed Martin, the giant weapons corporation, is shadowing you?  No?  Then you haven’t been paying much attention.  Let me put it this way: If you have a life, Lockheed Martin is likely a part of it.

"True, Lockheed Martin doesn’t actually run the U.S. government, but sometimes it seems as if it might as well.  After all, it received $36 billion in government contracts in 2008 alone, more than any company in history.  It now does work for more than two dozen government agencies from the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy to the Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency.  It’s involved in surveillance and information processing for the CIA, the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Pentagon, the Census Bureau, and the Postal Service."

To read Hartung's entire article, click HERE.  Speaking of Lockheed Martin, this CHART from Business Insider might be of interest.  Furthermore, from SourceWatch comes this piece regarding the current role of private military corporations in the United States and abroad: 

"Private military corporations, private military firms, private security companies, military services providers, the privatized military industry are all attempts to label the phenomena of private companies offering services on the world market that have normally been duties of national military forces or involve armed security detail for business in unstable regions. Every service caters to security, and the growing need for security in a world wrought with differing economic, strategic, and military interests has provided a marketplace that is rapidly expanding.

"These services include risk advisory, training of local forces, armed site security, cash transport, intelligence services, workplace and building security, war zone security needs, weapons procurement, personnel and budget vetting, armed support, air support, logistical support, maritime security, cyber security, weapons destruction, prisons, surveillance, psychological warfare, propaganda tactics, covert operations, close protection and investigations [...].

"The single largest issue introduced by the evolution of military services by the private sector is the degree to which corporations are now transcending the power of governments, rising as an influential variable within international and regional diplomacy, and redefining sovereignty in the 21st century. Advocates of the industry claim they are economically efficient and point towards the failure of the UN and the system of world governments to cease violence, genocide and civil war around the world."

To read the entire SourceWatch piece, click HERE.

What follow are a few snippets from Matthew Rocco's 10-2-17 Fox Business article entitled "Las Vegas Shooter Worked for Predecessor of Lockheed Martin":

"The man identified as the shooter responsible for killing and wounding hundreds in Las Vegas, Stephen Paddock, previously worked for a company that later become Lockheed Martin [...].

"'Stephen Paddock worked for a predecessor company of Lockheed Martin from 1985 until 1988. We’re cooperating with authorities to answer questions they may have about Mr. Paddock and his time with the company,' Lockheed Martin said in a statement.

"Lockheed Martin did not disclose which company employed Paddock."


To read the entire Fox Business article, simply click HERE.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Cryptoscatology Halloween Viewing List (Part 3): Karloff's Top 13

In Part 2 of this series, we offered an overview of Bela Lugosi's top 13 films.  During this Halloween season, it's only appropriate that we give equal time to Lugosi's most frequent collaborator and rival, Boris Karloff.  What follows is my personal "Top 13 Karloff" list.  Each of these films (some acknowledged classics, others relatively obscure) represents a high watermark in the history of cinematic horror....


THE BLACK CAT (Edgar Ulmer, 1934)


FRANKENSTEIN (James Whale, 1931)


BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (James Whale, 1935)


THE MUMMY (Karl Freund, 1932)


THE BODY SNATCHER (Robert Wise, 1945)


BEDLAM (Mark Robson, 1946)


CORRIDORS OF BLOOD (Robert Day, 1958)


THE WALKING DEAD (Michael Curtiz, 1936)


THE MASK OF FU MANCHU (Charles Brabin, 1932)


THE BLACK ROOM (Roy William Neill, 1935)


ISLE OF THE DEAD (Mark Robson, 1945)


BLACK SABBATH (Mario Bava, 1963)


TARGETS (Peter Bogdanovich, 1968)

If you're interested in reading about Karloff's life and career, you would be hard pressed to do any better than the books of Gregory William Mank such as BELA LUGOSI AND BORIS KARLOFF:  THE EXPANDED STORY OF A HAUNTING COLLABORATION and IT'S ALIVE:  THE CLASSIC CINEMA SAGA OF FRANKENSTEIN.


And as an added Halloween treat, here's Karloff performing in an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Telltale Heart" on a 1941 episode of the radio show INNER SANCTUM....



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Jack Parsons Project

Unexpectedly, Jack Whiteside Parsons appears to be ubiquitous these days.  Parsons was the sorcerer-cum-scientist who helped found Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California and was instrumental in developing the rocket fuel that propelled the United States to the moon.  There's a crater on the moon named after Parsons to commemorate his contributions to the aerospace industry.  Parsons is also the author of the greatest libertarian manifesto ever written, "Freedom Is a Two-Edged Sword," which should be required reading in high school civics courses.  

Infamously, sadly, Parsons blew himself up in his Pasadena home while experimenting with rocket fuel.  Or did he blow himself up?  Some claim Parsons was assassinated, or that his death was faked as part of a complicated "brain drain" covert operation conducted by the U.S. government, or that... well, the speculations go on and on.

At one time Parsons was the hidden ground of 1940s/1950s Southern California history, serving as inspiration to only a select few, such as the writers Anthony Boucher and Philip K. Dick.  Boucher based a character on Parsons in his 1942 mystery novel, Rocket to the MorguePhilip K. Dick, whose career Boucher was instrumental in launching when Boucher was serving as editor of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, reportedly based a character on Parsons in his 1960 novel, Dr. Futurity.  


During the past few months, I couldn't help but notice that Parsons has been popping up in more and more unlikely places.  Parsons, along with his girlfriend Marjorie Cameron (who, subsequent to Parsons' death, evolved into an accomplished painter and actress, and was featured in such cult films as Kenneth Anger's Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome and Curtis Harrington's Night Tide), appear as characters in Mark Frost's 2017 novel The Secret History of Twin Peaks.  There are oblique but crucial references to
  both Parsons and Cameron in Mark Frost and David Lynch's sui generis Gnostic parable, the eighteen-episode TV series Twin Peaks:  The Return.  (These references to Parsons and Cameron are analyzed by Alex Fulton in his mind-bending 9-8-17 Medium article entitled "Episodes 17 & 18 of Twin Peaks:  The Return Are Meant to be Watched in Sync.")  Parsons also appears, disguised under a fictional veneer, in the recent comic book mini-series entitled Bettie Page by David Avallone and Colton Worely, which revolves around the imaginary exploits of the infamous pin-up queen in 1950s Hollywood.


 
Perhaps more significantly, it has been reported that Parsons will be the subject of a CBS television series based on George Pendle's 2006 Parsons biography Strange Angel.  This series will be directed by David Lowery, whose most recent film was A Ghost Story.  (For further information on this upcoming series, read Steve Greene's 8-1-17 IndieWire article entitled "David Lowery Set to Direct TV Show About a Sex Occultist Who Helped Invent Rocket Science.")


Is all of this Parsons-related activity an example of what conspiracy theorist Michael A. Hoffman would call the "Revelation of the Method" (i.e., the unveiling of certain sinister hermetic obsessions on the part of the political elite in the form of popular entertainment), or is this simply a sign that the mass audience has evolved to the point where they can at last contemplate the importance of a transgressive, fringe figure like Parsons in the make-up of America's post-WWII development?

Back in 1996 I wrote a phantasmagorical short story entitled "A Babe of the Abyss" about Jack Parsons' connection to the creation of the Church of Scientology that I sold on first submission to a British anthology which was to have been called, if memory serves, The Creation of the Beast.  The story was scheduled to appear side-by-side with contributions by such writers as Alan Moore and Grant Morrison (in fact, if you happen to have a copy of the comic book The Invisibles Vol. 1 No. 25, you will see that Morrison makes a reference to this anthology in the letters page).  At one point the editor of the anthology, D.M. Mitchell--who had previously edited a superior Lovecraft-themed anthology entitled The Starry Wisdom--mailed me a cryptic letter, still filed away in my office somewhere, in which he expressed his concern about being hounded by Scientology lawyers when my story eventually appeared in print.  I was never paid for the story, and the anthology--as far as I know--was never even published.  


Only a few years later, roundabout 2000, Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie's Jack-Parsons-inspired comic book story "Brighter Than You Think" was outright censored by DC Comics, reportedly due to the same fears regarding legal reprisals from the Church of Scientology.  (An article about that incident can be found HERE.)  Perhaps it just wasn't time for Parsons' story to be fully explored?  Perhaps....

In the meantime, it's always best to go back to the source, the writings left behind by the man himself.  New Falcon Publications' collection of Parsons' essays, Freedom Is a Two-Edged Sword, can be attained HERE.  This volume receives my highest recommendation. 

Compartmentalization - SAIC & CHAMELEO

A frequent correspondent recently sent me a link to a review entitled "Compartmentalization--SAIC & Robert Guffey's CHAMELEO" posted on YouTube by a CHAMELEO reader.  Overall, I found this review reasonable and well worth checking out; however, there is one slight error that occurs within the first few minutes of the video.  The reviewer refers to Dion Fuller as a "veteran."  I think he might have accidentally conflated Dion's background with that of Lee/Doyle, the AWOL Marine who was arrested by the San Diego Police Department the same night as Dion.  Dion was never a member of the military.  Other than that one error, I found the review to be compelling....


Monday, October 23, 2017

Jim Keith on the Men in Black

Once again, it's time to slip into our cryptoscatological Wayback Machine.  Our destination this time is 1997, when Art Bell interviewed the late Jim Keith (1949-1999) on Coast To Coast AM regarding Keith's book CASEBOOK ON THE MEN IN BLACK


A too-brief article about the peculiar circumstances surrounding Keith's untimely death can be found HERE.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Facebook and National Security Clearances

From Sarah Frier and Bill Allison's 10-16-17 Bloomberg.com article entitled "Facebook Is Looking for Employees with National Security Clearances": 

"Facebook Inc. is looking to hire people who have national security clearances, a move the company thinks is necessary to prevent foreign powers from manipulating future elections through its social network, according to a person familiar with the matter.
"Workers with such clearance can access information classified by the U.S. government. Facebook plans to use these people -- and their ability to receive government information about potential threats -- to search more proactively for questionable social media campaigns ahead of elections, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is sensitive. A Facebook spokesman declined to comment.
"Job candidates like this are often former government and intelligence officials or contractors. The status can carry over to private-sector jobs, as long as the position still requires access to sensitive information. Previously granted clearances become inactive when intelligence workers leave government employment, but they can be reactivated on Facebook’s behalf, the person said.
"The Office of the National Director of Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security didn’t respond to requests for comment on Sunday."
To read the rest of the article, click HERE.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

My First Visit to The Trans-cultural Health Improvement Center

My short story "My First Visit to The Trans-cultural Health Improvement Center" is in the most recent issue of PANORAMA (Vol. 4, Autumn 2017).  Here's how the story begins:

"A few hours ago, in the middle of doing the laundry, I get a call from my friend Damien. He’s on the edge of death again and needs help getting to a methadone clinic in Wilmington. Since I prefer not to have dead people on my conscience I decide to hop on a bus to his apartment in Long Beach and help him. Besides, I’m curious to see what a methadone clinic looks like.
"Imagine two white boys in the middle of Wilmington, CA trying to find a methadone clinic. The place is hard to track down. They certainly don’t advertise in the phone book. The clinic is a couple of blocks away from a sweat shop, a literal sweat shop, housed in a totally nondescript one-story building with barred windows and a huge intimidating door that’s as colorful as an all-expenses-paid vacation in Garden Grove. The door is gray, very gray. The clinic’s official name is 'The Trans-cultural Health Improvement Center,' which is the most clever bit of nonsensical newspeak I’ve ever heard. It means nothing, absolutely nothing. I guess they didn’t want to call it 'The Wilmington Methadone Clinic' to make it as difficult as possible for a junkie to get there. According to an almost unreadable sign outside it’s open from 5:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. How the hell can you expect a junkie to get up that early? If they could get up that early, they wouldn’t be junkies in the first place.
"Anyway, once you’ve passed the gigantic featureless door, you find yourself in the lobby. I take a seat in a black vinyl sofa. A few feet away from me is the front desk, directly above which hangs various signs that say things like 'Information and Registration' and 'This Medical Clinic Utilizes Physician Extenders In Accordance With The Laws And Regulations Of This State' and 'No Checks/No Coins/No Credit Cards/We Do Not Give Change/We Give Credit Towards Your Next Dose.' From my seat I watch an endless stream of junkies walk through the door, sign in at the front desk, then stroll over to a little window to get their allotted dose of methadone (a bright pink liquid that comes in a tiny plastic cup)."
To read the rest of the story, click HERE


Friday, October 20, 2017

The Cryptoscatology Halloween Viewing List (Part 2): Lugosi's Top 13

In celebration of what would have been Bela Lugosi's 135th birthday, I offer you a list of the essential entries in Lugosi's five-decade-long filmography.  

A few years ago a friend of mine saw Rowland V. Lee's SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (1939) for the first time at The Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles.  At the end of the film his first comment was, “Why does everybody say Bela Lugosi was such a bad actor?  He’s great in this!  He steals the whole movie—and that’s not easy when you’re sparring with Lionel Atwill, Boris Rathbone, and Boris Karloff!”  He then asked me to recommend other Lugosi films, so I took the opportunity to compile my personal “Top 13 Lugosi” list.  Your forthcoming Halloween viewing experience can be vastly improved by the addition of any one of the following films from the Golden Age of Hollywood....


 
















 



 




If any of these films whet your appetite for more information regarding the careeer of Bela Lugosi, I suggest listening to the following podcast:  YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS:  BELA AND BORIS EPISODE ONE:  WHERE THE MONSTERS CAME FROM (OCTOBER 16, 2017).

Also, the following books by Gary D. Rhodes (and friends) represent the most comprehensive biographies of Lugosi's life:









And the best documentary film about Lugosi remains Gary D. Rhodes' LUGOSI:  HOLLYWOOD'S DRACULA (Spinning Our Wheels Productions, 2000).


And if you want even more Lugosi, here's a 1951 interview with the actor upon his return from London where he had just completed filming John Gilling's very peculiar transvestite comedy MOTHER RILEY MEETS THE VAMPIRE (AKA VAMPIRE OVER LONDON) (1952):




Wednesday, October 18, 2017

DEEP STATE BLUES

On Monday, October 16th I appeared on a radio show called DEEP STATE BLUES hosted by Badbaby and Steve Olson to discuss my book CHAMELEO and related Deep State topics such as All-Amurrrican mind control, organized government harassment, orchestrated mass shootings, Men-in-Black madness, and more.  This interview is almost two hours long.  If you want to hear it, simply click on the link below....